Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beautiful Night for a Race

The corporate challenge 3.5 mile race was held last night at Chrissy Field. 41 Employees from my company participated, some of them coming all the way from Sacramento. The race was organized pretty well, they had busses assigned to pick up people from all over the downtown area and transport them to the start and then drop them off again after the race. Our bus picked us up at 5:45pm and we were supposed to arrive by 6pm. That should have been perfect and would have provided 45 minutes to warm up. Of course, nobody factored in rush hour traffic in downtown San Francisco! Well we ended up getting there at 6:30pm!!! Only 15 minutes before the race! Naturally the port-o-potty's all had line-ups, just like they normally do just before the start of the race. Anyway, I didn't have much time to warm up so I did what I could and then ran to find my spot in the starting corral. There were about 5000 people running/walking this race, so making my way up to the 7 minute pace marker was a challenge and I couldn't get too much closer than that so thats where I started. Unfortunately this race was not chip timed, so the closer to the front the better. On a side note, if I do this race next year I will run from the office to the start of the race since it is only about 2 miles! Anyway, as I was making my way closer to the front, I bumped into a co-worker who was going to run a similiar pace so we both headed to the front together. He then told me that last years front runner for our company was probably closer to the front. I was hopping to spot her and hang with her for the race, but couldn't find her and as I said, it was too crowded to try to get closer.

The race started and the first few minutes was spent jockeying for position and trying to avoid the slower runners who started to far ahead. The course was beautiful, it started at Chrissy Field, headed east then looped around heading west towards the Golden Gate bridge. Since the race started at 6:45, the sun was starting to dip over the horizon, glowing behind the bridge, what a beautiful sight!

The course is almost entirely flat which is also nice, they only negative about the course is that for the entire second mile (and a bit more), you are running on a loose crushed stone path which kind of slows you down. The race was a lot of fun, I wasn't expecting to run too fast and I didn't. I was the second finisher from my company, the first finisher also won the most senior women executive prize, good for her! I lucked out though and ended up winning a 50$ gift card which my company was offering up for the fastest finisher. Since our fastest finisher was an HR executive, she didn't take it so I was next in line - lucky me :D

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to AM Running

This week I started running in the mornings. I used to do this all the time before I changed my hours at the bank to start at 7am. Since I start at 9am now, I found that when I got home at 6:30 or 7pm, I wasn't really too excited about going back out to run. Especially after cycling 6 miles up hill into the wind on the way home! I actually did that a few times and found that my legs felt pretty much like cement when I started the run - which makes me admire all you triathaletes out there who do that in a race! So this week I ran Monday through Thursday at 6:30am. It's nice running in the mornings, I head down to the park and there are lots of other runners out and people walking their dogs. I've also noticed that there are lots of fitness groups that get together in the morning and are usually doing things like stretching, lunges and various other excercises, they also do some running. Seems like a good way to get out and get some excercise and I'm sure the group motivation really helps.

Well, the corporate challenge is on Wednesday and I'm not sure how I'll do since I haven't really put in too many hard workouts, so we'll see what happens. Should be a fun event, there will be 41 people from my company running and over 6000 total runners!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

7:30's ???

So today for some strange reason I had a faboulus run! I really shouldn't have since I cycled about 60 miles this week and my legs were dead on Thursday and Friday. Why did I cycle 60 miles? Well, Monday Jim and I explored the city on bike which was bout 15 miles including some good long climbs and Tuesday through Friday I took my bike to work each day which is almost 12 miles for the round trip. The trip home from work is also uphill and into the wind, so it is a little more challenging than the drive in. Anyway, Thursday after work I was planning on getting in a quick tempo before heading home but it just wasn't happening, my legs were yelling at me! So I aborted the run and headed home on the bike. So Friday I decided that I better run in the morning before work otherwise I wouldn't get it done at all. That was a average/good run, nothing special. Today I assumed my legs would still be tired, but after running the first mile, I looked at my watch and I was at about a 7:40 pace. This was weird because I felt like I was running 8:40! Anyway, I ended up running 6 of the 8 miles at 7:30 pace and it felt great! I don't know why since I haven't been running fast lately except for a weekly tempo/interval workout. I have been doing tons of hills, so maybe that is starting to pay off. Maybe the cycling is helping too. Well, about a week and a half until the Corporate Challenge race, hopefully I continue to have good workouts and a good race!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a GrandView!

On Monday morning I headed out for a run with my Sirius radio and no plan! I guess I was just going to run around the neighborhood to get some miles in. Anyway, I decided I should check out this mysterious hill not too far from my apartment. It's mysterious because it is not very wide and it kind of juts out of the surrounding landscape plus, there are some trees up there but just a few. So I ran up (I mean UP the hill) the road in the direction of this hill and quite easily located the bottom of the huge staircase that goes right to the top. I continued on running up the stairs....had to slow down a bit though as the repetitiveness of the stair climbing was making me dizzy. Anyway, finally reached the top!! WOW, this is the best view yet! You can see everything from downtown to the ocean, as far as Daly city, maybe even further! It was a perfectly clear day as well, so I could see so far into the horizon. This hill is called Grand View Park. I didn't have my camera, but here is a great shot. There is not much on top except for a bench or two, sand and trees. On the other side of the hill, there is another staircase and this one is completely tiled in a wonderful mosiac, check out these amazing pictures.

Unfortunately the camera is now broken due to a little mishap yesterday, but we are actively searching for a replacement and then Jim and I plan on heading up the hill to get some nice sunrise or sunset shots of our own!